Sabi Agri offers range of driver-optional electric tractors

Photo: Sabi Agri
Photo: Sabi Agri

Sabi Agri, a young French company, is working on a range of electric tractors that can operated by a driver as well as autonomously.

Originating from their own farm, Sabi Agri has been developing its own range of electric tractors since 2017. The current range consists of three models including a straddle tractor with a variable track width. Both the software and the autonomy kit called ‘Zilus box’ have been developed in-house. 20 tractors have been sold so far. Mainly to small French farmers and market garden farmers who grow various crops and vegetables on a 2 to 10 ha scale.

On-farm development

Co-founder Alexandre Prevault Osmani explained that the idea for a light-weight electric tractor came up on the family farm growing pigs, cereals and vegetables. “We want to put agronomy first and farm more agroecological than before. That includes less deep cultivation which requires less power than our former 100 hp tractors had. Due to lack of availability of suitable tractors and machinery, we started developing our own tractors.”

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The buggy like Alpo model is available with either two-wheel or four-wheel drive (photo). - Photo: Sabi Agri
The buggy like Alpo model is available with either two-wheel or four-wheel drive (photo). - Photo: Sabi Agri

Three types of electric tractors

That led to the current range of three types of electric tractors who share the same technology and the same name: Alpo. The first is a buggy like tractor with small wheels and either rear wheel or four-wheel drive. The rear-wheel-drive version weighs 700 kg and has 25 hp electric power from lithium-ion batteries. The four-wheel drive option weighs 850 kg and has 50 hp electric power.

The four-wheel drive straddle tractor also has 50 hp nominal power and, according to the company a boost of an additional 50 hp. “You can compare the power of our tractors to the power of a 50 to 80 hp diesel equivalent”, Prevault Osmani explains.

Straddle Alpo has a variable track width of 1.15 to 2.0 m. The lithium-ion battery pack offers an autonomy/range of 5 up to 10 hours depending on the type of work. “You’ll be able to work up to 8 hours while hoeing and up to 6 hours when using the hydraulics. The maximum speed is 22 km/h.” Every tractor can be equipped with solar panels on the roof that provide an additional range of 15%.

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Transport with driver

Every model can be driven by an operator and optionally run autonomously as well. “We fit a driver’s seat and steering wheel to be able to drive the tractor from one field to another. Our autonomy kit called the ‘Zilus box’ also is an inhouse development and can be retrofitted to any Sabi Agri tractor from € 20,000”, Prevault Osmani says.

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The tractors have a steering wheel and driver’s seat for those farmers who don’t need an autonomous version and for driving it from one field or vineyard to another. - Photo: René Koerhuis
The tractors have a steering wheel and driver’s seat for those farmers who don’t need an autonomous version and for driving it from one field or vineyard to another. - Photo: René Koerhuis

With the Zilus box, currently still in the prototype phase, the Alpo straddle tractor’s laser follows rows of plants or trees to navigate while turning autonomously at the end of the rows. It’s also possible to drive the tractor while seeding and to playback the routes for hoeing autonomously.

The prices for the buggy-like version start at € 50,000 while the straddle tractor is labelled with a price tag starting at € 130,000. That’s similar to the price of a common straddle tractor according to Alexandre Prevault Osmani. So far, 20 tractors have been sold.

All Alpo models can be equipped with solar panels on the roof that provide an additional range of 15%. The so-called Zilus box makes Alpo autonomous. - Photo: René Koerhuis
All Alpo models can be equipped with solar panels on the roof that provide an additional range of 15%. The so-called Zilus box makes Alpo autonomous. - Photo: René Koerhuis
Koerhuis
René Koerhuis Precision Farming Specialist